Home Wisdom Articles Pujya Gurudevshri Pujya Gurudevshri Insights Where is the Mire?

Where is the Mire?

Man gets tired of activities, but not his flaws. He considers the world as mire but does not focus on his own muck. Pujya Gurudevshri explains that with right understanding of the mire, go to the root of the fault and remove it
You pray, “I am stuck in the world’s mire, You alone can pull me out of this mess. O Lord! Please show mercy. How long will I be caught in this mire? Would You not help me reach the portal of liberation? I pray to You with hope that You will save me from this world.”

This prayer is befitting. But there is a difference in what the Enlightened Ones mean and what the ignorant ones mean. What does ‘the world’s mire’ mean to you? Quarrelsome spouse, self-willed children, difficulties at work, physical diseases, family responsibilities – right?

Even if someone saves you from what you consider as mire, where will he put you? Is there less mire in the Himalayas? Even this body is made up of dirt. How can you run away from mire?

Critical Attitude

Within the word ‘mire’ is hidden criticism. With criticism, you will even deprive yourself of the lotus that grows in the mud. Your problem is that you are running after the lotus and to get the lotus, you pray to be saved from mud! Dharma is to bloom like the lotus in the mud, not run away from the world. The day this is understood, your spiritual journey will begin. Dharma is not a change of activities, clothes, or circumstances. Dharma is born when the focus is on inner transformation, not on outer circumstances. Dharma is a sublime state of the Soul.

You must awaken right where you are. Dharma cannot be against life. Gladly accept the external circumstances, and endeavour to blossom like the lotus in whatever is available to you. Instead of criticizing the circumstances and activities, check your inclinations, because, likes and dislikes towards circumstances alone is the mire. The fault is not outside; it is in the mind. By criticizing the circumstances, you have made your outlook so negative that you view things wrongly and never experience true happiness or freedom.

On a full moon night, a saint was sitting at the shore of a lake. There was a light breeze. A man came near and seeing a pile of dirt by the lake said, “This is the limit of dirtiness!” The saint responded, “Brother! This pile of dirt is so small and the sky is so vast! Why don’t you look at the sky? I was so engrossed in looking at the moon, that if you hadn’t mentioned, I wouldn’t have even registered this pile of dirt.”

All have their own outlook. Some see the moon and some see only the dirt! Circumstances arise as a result of past deeds. There should be no like or dislike for them. Calling them mire is criticism. You can experience freedom in those very circumstances if you can rise above them. If you remain detached in every situation, fragrance of virtues will begin emanating from you. The petals will start opening, and in the mire itself, the lotus will blossom. You won’t need to go to the portal of liberation, you will be liberated right here.

What is Dharma

Body, spouse, children, wealth, house are not mire. To the ignorant, they appear as joyful or sorrowful. To the awakened, they are only associations, worth neither accepting, nor rejecting but merely the object of His knowledge. When the world does not enter within to distract or disturb the silence, know the lotuses have blossomed. This is dharma.

The ignorant criticises the world in the name of dharma. He has aversion for the circumstances, whereas the Enlightened One remains a knower of circumstances. The ignorant therefore is always in the world whether he is with people or alone, whereas the Enlightened One is always untouched by the world, whether He is with people or alone.

Instead of gladly accepting the circumstances, if you are non-accepting, disturbed, have complaints or desire changes, then know that you are touched by them! The lotus-like saints have blossomed in this very mire. Instead of criticising it, help the lotus, latent in the mire, to emerge. By running away from it, you shall only rot and not become fragrant.

The movement of dharma is vertical, not horizontal. Running is not dharma, transcending is dharma. Dharma is a state where there is no joy or sorrow, likes or dislikes for the world. As long as there is a feeling of contempt, there is passion. Dharma is not change in the object of passion but it is freedom from passion. The lotus blossoms when the world appears irrelevant and not when you endeavour to create the lotus by bringing a change in the world.

Possibility of Awakening

One interested in earning will only go where there is a possibility to earn. The aspirant will go only where there is a possibility of awakening. The world is an opportunity, a possibility for awakening every moment. Events of joy and sorrow, favourable and unfavourable situations keep occurring. It is essential to remain awake here. One moment, someone criticises you, and another moment, someone praises you. If you are awake, you won’t get caught in either. On the contrary, you will have love for all, friendliness towards equals, appreciation for the virtuous, compassion for the needy, indifference towards the hurtful.

The aspirant wants to be free from the mire of his faults, not from circumstances. He knows that in the absence of inner mire, external situations do not create any obstacles. In events of joy and sorrow, he keeps examining his thoughts, catches his faults and removes them. When he begins to stay unaffected by the associations and feels sameness for all, he starts planning for outer renunciation.

In favourable and unfavourable circumstances, if you remain the same; if events remain outside and do not create inner turmoil; if your heart remains open for God, the inner song remains unbroken, such a pristine state is dharma. The art of remaining non-dual in the midst of dualities is dharma.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t renounce, go for retreat, go to ashram, go to mountains, go into seclusion observing silence. You must go, but don’t think that you have become free from inner mire. See that you don’t get attached or addicted to this external renunciation. In solitude, come closer to the Self but watch out that you don’t get so attached to those conditions that you begin fearing crowds and cannot bear people. This will be failure. Instead of becoming choice-less, you will become rigid and full of choices!

During retreat, due to being away from activities, roles, and responsibilities, you experience freedom from tension and sorrow; but as long as you are stuck in the mire of passions and worldly thoughts, how can you experience lasting happiness?

True Achievement

You run for peace of ashram or forest but don’t forget that they too are a part of the world. The peace of the Self is the real peace. So desire for that alone. Increase your strength so that in any situation, inner peace remains intact. Keep checking. If you can remain as peaceful in the crowd as you are in the ashram, then alone, you have achieved something.

Ashram can also become bondage. If you cannot live without it, you are bound! You had only borrowed the peace of the ashram. But a good businessman makes money from what he borrows. One who considers borrowed money as his is a fraud. In the same way, peace of the ashram is not your peace. After returning from there, if you can remain unaffected and peaceful, only then, you have earned something.<

You may go to the ashram or forest, or observe silence, the Enlightened Ones are not opposed to it, and They are not opposed to your worldly activities either. They only ask you to examine your thoughts and remove the inner mire. When you start becoming detached like a lotus, you will not call the world, mire. You will remain happy wherever you are, however you are, because wherever you are, God is. Neither is your world outside, nor your liberation. Identifying with the divine Self, experience the bliss of freedom.

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